Once the spatial framework for a designed landscape is clearly identified in the mass/space plan, the very specific task of selecting appropriate plant species for each zone within the site may proceed, i. e. a planting plan may be developed for implementation.
Particularly in the case of forest-like plantings being installed on an open site, the initial species composition may be different from the long-term target composition. For example, a dense planting of early successional loblolly pines may be proposed, fulfilling the need for mass initially, after which successional processes will change the composition. Or an initial tree-planting plan may be supplemented with one or more additional layers of planting: later-successional tree saplings, seedlings or seeds to be added, or shade-tolerant shrubs and herbaceous ground layer species to be added as the initially-planted tree canopy develops.
For sunlit meadow plantings, the initial planting may well include the whole array of species which is desired in the area. And, as discussed earlier in this chapter, in the section on diversification of groundlayer planting, a meadow planting may appropriately be installed as seed rather than seedlings.
Examples of abstracted native plant communities for use in northwest Europe are given in Roland Gustavsson’s (woodlands), Wolfram Kircher’s (wetlands) and Hein Koningen’s (ground layer) chapters in this book (Chapters 7, 8 and 10, respectively). For the remainder of this Chapter a case study will be used to show how the use of abstracted native plant communities can be applied in a designed setting.